Plant protein is a bang on trend at the minute with seemingly every other post on my Instagram feed showing off smoothie bowls, health foods and of course, plant-based protein.

But it’s not always been this way - until very recently if you wanted to build muscle, lose weight or get lean, your only choice would be a meat-heavy diet and a few servings of whey protein every single day. But times are changing, there are now alternatives to the carnivorous diet and vegetables are leading the way for a healthier alternative.

It may be a bit of a hot topic right now - but how much do we actually know about the natural protein sources? Feeling a little bit in the dark? Me too - so let’s investigate - here are 5 things you probably don’t know about plant protein:

1. Plant Protein is Equally As Effective As Animal-Derived Protein

The days of animal protein being recognised as more effective than plant-based protein are long gone.

Research and studies into the capabilities of plant-based proteins have come in thick and thin and the results are very positive. Both animal and plant proteins are equally effective as each other, meaning there’s no clear athletic performance advantage from using one or the other.

Also, in some cases plant protein powder actually contains more Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) than whey.

So while plant proteins may contain less protein per gram than other animal proteins, they pretty much achieve the same goals it comes to athletic benefits.

2. Plant Protein Users Have a Lower Risk of Disease

Plant proteins are packed full of natural nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins and key minerals - the good stuff that keeps us healthy on the inside rather than just the outside.

It’s for this reason that plant protein users have a lower risk of disease than animal protein users - the goodness from natural sources helps the body fight off things like heart diseases, cognitive disorders and diabetes. That’s another big pro for plant proteins.

3. Plant Protein Is Easier to Digest and Great For Intolerances

Approximately 65 percent of people have some form of intolerance to lactose, bad news for all those all those whey protein fanatics you've probably met at the gym.

Digestion is particularly tricky for these animal-derived proteins, but it’s an area that plant-based proteins don’t fall short. As the ingredients are almost always completely natural (quinoa, pea, flax etc.) they’re super easy to digest so there’s no uncomfortable stomachs and no bloating.

It goes down exactly as a protein powder should.

4. Plant Protein Can Help You Look and Feel Younger

If you fancy feeling like you’re in your 20s when you’re in your 30s or 40s, the very best advice that anyone to give you is to adopt a plant-based protein diet.

It may be simple, but opting for plant-based can help with the prevention of disease as well as the nagging symptoms of age. It’ll even help you stay looking younger with studies linking glowing skin to higher intakes of plant foods.

Sign me up.

5. There’s Plenty of Great Tastes and Flavours

One of the most surprising factors in plant-based protein to many people is that many of them actually tastes great!

I know it may be hard to believe that anything that’s made with concentrated peas can be a compliment to a protein shake - but give it a chance and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. There are all kinds of products, tastes and flavours available for you to sift through and choose your favourite.

For example Vebena Organics offers vegan plant protein powders in 3 flavours:

Making it super easy to mix and match your protein shake or smoothies flavours to your liking!